American principal accused of plagiarising Ashton Kutcher speech at graduation

The principal is accused of copying Ashton Kutcher.
The principal is accused of copying Ashton Kutcher. Photo credit: Abby Smith / Facebook.

An American high school principal says he didn't mean to plagiarise a speech by actor Ashton Kutcher when speaking at a graduation.

Last week, Parkersburg High School principal Ken DeMoss spoke at the graduation ceremony and was accused of plagiarising a speech by Kutcher at the 2013 Teens' Choice Awards.

DeMoss spoke of three key points - seizing opportunity, being an intriguing person, and living life. Kutcher's were very similar (except from the second, where he said it was important to be sexy).

"I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work. When I was a kid growing up, I didn't get paid to do chores. I had to do 'em," DeMoss said.

"I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work. When I was 13, I had my first job with my dad carrying shingles up to the roof," Kutcher said.

There were other similarities, like both talking about Steve Jobs and ending their speeches with "I love you guys".

After the allegations DeMoss released a statement saying he got his format from the actor, but the thoughts and specific ideas came from his heart.

"It was never my intent to take credit for what I said or give a specific credit because of how I prefaced my speech."

He didn't explain how he came across Kutcher's speech.

"In the future, anything that is spoken by me or any other administrator to the public, if it has been said by anyone else, it will be cited."

DeMoss also said he was upset that his speech had become the centre of attention and not the students.

A video highlighting the similarities has been viewed nearly 130,000 times.

Newshub.

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